NeuroTypical

Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

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7 hours ago, Vort said:

With those who enjoy kicking puppies and are constantly tempted to do so?

I shared that with you in secret! I don't appreciate you using it as one of your examples.

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Some thoughts on the matter... 

 

I suppose that I also instinctively fall in line with @Vort’s way of thinking on this matter. 
 

However, as I thought about how the church leaders view these matters, it led me to thinking about it in terms of how alcoholism is discussed and viewed. 
 

The world tends to associate healing from our base level desires by identifying oneself as the problems and addictions we face. For instance, it is not uncommon to hear someone say they are an “alcoholic” and haven’t had a drink in X number of years. Likewise, it is not uncommon to hear evangelicals refer to themselves as “sinners” when preaching. I suppose then that, due to the commonplace discussions of LGBTQ in the world currently, we should not be surprised to find such self-identifiers within the church as well. 
 

In my view, as we know that the Lord has the power to change our hearts and we become His sons and daughters as we strive to be like Him, we should also identify as such. We covenant to take His name upon us as new creatures. I believe THAT is how we should not only identify ourselves but also how we should view ourselves and others. 
 

That being said, I suppose it is wrong of me to judge those who self-identify as their problems. Their addictions and issues might plague them to the point to where they truly believe they ARE that trial. Hopefully they are able to allow God to change their natures and eventually be healed. 

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On 4/30/2021 at 4:13 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

“Queer” can have a lot of meanings, and as near as I can tell the speaker here doesn’t specify the term’s definition as it applies to herself. 

The speaker could have easily added a clarifying statement to her comments - one that could have changed the tone of having her on stage to begin with. One that could have even given hope to individuals in her shoes. 

Something like..."While I do experience feelings of same sex attraction*, I married my husband several years ago. We have a great life and I love him dearly**".

Omitted by accident OR design? I suspect the latter. 
Why not share how you have moved beyond your struggle and not let it constantly become your identity?

* She explains in a North Star bio. 
** She shares her marriage with her husband on her FB page.

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1 hour ago, Colirio said:

The world tends to associate healing from our base level desires by identifying oneself as the problems and addictions we face. For instance, it is not uncommon to hear someone say they are an “alcoholic” and haven’t had a drink in X number of years. Likewise, it is not uncommon to hear evangelicals refer to themselves as “sinners” when preaching. I suppose then that, due to the commonplace discussions of LGBTQ in the world currently, we should not be surprised to find such self-identifiers within the church as well. 

The popular 12-step AA program (which the church has adopted for it's addiction recovery program) has a lot to say about the topic.  I think AA was the pioneer group for the whole format of "My name's Bob, and I'm an alcoholic, and it's been x months since my last drink".  A core principal of the program is the notion "I'm broken and can't fix myself, and can only be brought back by handing over my life to God".  There is much said about where an addict should find their value.  The distinction in these programs is made, often, that while someone may be an alcoholic/sex addict/sufferer of same-sex attraction, that truth does not define a person's value.   It is a very, very common issue with folks with these addictions, to define themselves as the addiction, and AA (and the church's program) make this matter clearer.

I'm guessing that such granularities were going through the lady's mind as she was talking about how she came to realize she's perfect just the way she is. 

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

There is much said about where an addict should find their value.  The distinction in these programs is made, often, that while someone may be an alcoholic/sex addict/sufferer of same-sex attraction, that truth does not define a person's value.   It is a very, very common issue with folks with these addictions, to define themselves as the addiction, and AA (and the church's program) make this matter clearer.

I'm guessing that such granularities were going through the lady's mind as she was talking about how she came to realize she's perfect just the way she is. 

I'm not understanding the flow of reasoning above. Based on what you write, it appears to me that you have:

1. A person struggling with an addiction or propensity that he himself (or she herself) admits is a destructive thing.

2. A tendency for the person to define himself (herself) as his (her) addiction, e.g. "I am an alcoholic", "I am a homosexual", "I am someone who likes to eat copious quantities of food", or whatever.

3. An affirmation by the person that he (she) is "perfect just the way he/she is".

But by #2, the person defines himself/herself as some certain thing (alcoholic, homosexual, overeater, pilferer of jelly doughnuts, whatever). And by #1, the person implicitly rejects that thing and considers it destructive or otherwise unworthy. Ergo, #3 cannot be true.

What am I missing here?

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19 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

I'm guessing that such granularities were going through the lady's mind as she was talking about how she came to realize she's perfect just the way she is. 

I wish I could feel "I'm perfect just the way I am".  Instead, I tend to realize every day that I have flaws.  Some of them quite ponderous.  But I lean on the Lord to eventually help me overcome them.

I guess some people think that homosexuality isn't something to be "overcome".  They just accept it as part of being "perfect".

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On 5/7/2021 at 1:13 PM, Vort said:

I am interested to hear your answers to my questions and observations, as I put them to you.

Ok, here goes:

Quote

Rather than standing firmly against such agitators and making it clear that we reject all sin in any form, even sin that's currently popular, we instead take a mealy-mouthed approach that doesn't exactly say that homosexuality is okay, but simply avoids the issue of morality and proclaims that homosexuals are people, too!

Duh.

Can you see that being done with those who are sexually attracted to children? With those who have a terrible temper and a propensity toward physical abuse? With those who are prone to lying and deceiving incessantly? With those who struggle with pimping out their daughters? With those who enjoy kicking puppies and are constantly tempted to do so?

In general, or when we're trying to preach the gospel?  No.   Do we do it at times?  Yes.  When people are trying to make folks feel welcome, when we are trying to nurture a spark of interest in the church or in the gospel, yes.   I presume prison missionaries spend quite a bit of time taking a 'mealy-mouthed approach' that emphasizes God's love and willingness to forgive, and almost zero time preaching against specific sins.  I know personally of several, and I assume it's a widely-spread phenomenon, for parents of wayward children to take this approach, at times.  

But in general, when teaching and preaching the Gospel of Christ, no, we don't do that.   And if we take a step back from the six-minute portion of one of the videos, of one of the church's conferences, I don't see general trends of avoiding the truth.  You can find it in our Gospel Principles manual, in the repentance chapter:

Quote

We must confess all our sins to the Lord. In addition, we must confess serious sins—such as adultery, fornication, homosexual relations, spouse or child abuse, and the sale or use of illegal drugs—which might affect our standing in the Church, to the proper priesthood authority.

Not everyone watches a 2021 BYU women's conference YouTube video, but the normal process is every member at some point, goes through the GP classes.

I see standing firm sprinkled through the results of a search of the church's website on the word "homosexuality"

But no, you're right, it's totally absent this 6 minute interaction we're discussing in this thread.

Quote

The teaching "Homosexually inclined people are children of God and heirs to salvation if they accept Christ" is, I daresay, perfectly fine with and accepted by 98% of Latter-day Saints. Few would argue with it.

Ok, but again, that wasn't the stated point of the interview.   Again, the stated point was "how should we think and act when we've got one in front of us, trying to make friends".   Again:

Quote

"President Henry B Eyring has said "Even differences can be seen as an opportunity. God will help us see a difference in someone else, not as a source of irritation, but as a contribution." Differences can make our world richer.  When we recognize and celebrate strengths other than our own, we can better accomplish the Lord's work in His way.  Sister Eubank will talk more about seeing beyond differences." 

Then Sister Eubank says "Most of us want to be welcoming.  But sometimes we get tongue tied, or we're afraid of making mistakes, and we just don't know what to say, or how to change the way we respond to people."  Then she cites Matthew 8 as an example of how "it's almost as if Matthew wants to hammer us over the head with this lesson about how revolutionary Jesus was in helping other people belong." She spends a few moments expanding on the theme, then introduces Liv as her friend, and, with all three members of the general RS presidency on stage, talks with her about her highs and lows as an LDS queer woman. 

For 6 minutes, nobody is condemning same-sex behavior as sin.  

Quote

So what is our response? Is it to stand firm as an example to our children, to fight the good fight, to reject evil in all its guises? Or is it rather to talk about love and acceptance and tolerance and all the other buzzwords that sound so good but that the political Left has perverted over the last two full generations as shibboleths of political correctness?

Our response should be to cleanse ourselves of any unwillingness to love our neighbor, or awkwardness in doing so, and our response should be to share the Gospel.   And, if the 2021 BYU women's conference is any standard to go by, it's ok to spend 6 minutes getting to know someone without yelling about what is and isn't sin.

 

Quote

Please show me how Sister Liv's open proclamation of her "queerness" and Sister Eubank's subsequent thanks to her make sense in the context of any temptation toward moral perversion, especially sexual perversion, other than homosexuality. 

If we took our total response to all things queer, and condensed it into that 6 minutes, then it would make no sense at all.  It might make some sense depending on circumstances laid out in Elder Oaks' talk Judge not and Judging.  Depending on the situation, we are either commanded to keep our mouths shut, or commanded to open it.  

Quote

If we're talking about a propensity toward sex with little children, are we going to thank people for their bravery in admitting such—especially when their "admission" is really more of a laundry list of personal identifiers? "I'm a son, a brother, a Young Men's president, a man who dreams about sex with little boys, a son of God, and a program manager at work"? How's that going to go over? 

It probably goes over very well in the church's addiction recovery meetings.  Or in discussions between incarcerated people and prison missionaries.  Or anywhere someone is moving from a position of denial, to a position of accepting the truth about themselves.

And again, I take a few guesses here on why it was useful in forwarding the work of the Lord here.  

I think that's all the questions you posed, let me know if I missed any.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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On 4/30/2021 at 2:03 PM, NeuroTypical said:

She speaks for about 6 minutes or so.   Interesting stuff.

 

Wow!!!!!!!!!

 

I already knew that you Latter day Saints have phenomenal teachings on the State of the Dead and now I am confronted with powerful evidence that you may well have one of the most loving and merciful approaches to Latter day Saint church members who identify as LGBTQ!

 

May I share this video to a non LDS discussion forum to hopefully inspire some non- LDS to begin to research your church?

 

Here is one example of a discussion where I would like to share this video:

 

Latter Day Saints, The Mormons, my analysis so far!

?

Are Latter Days Saints, Mormons, Christians?

  1. *

    Yes

     
    13 vote(s)
    59.1%
  2.  

    No

     
    8 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3.  

    Perhaps.... .I will research this further.

     
    1 vote(s)
    4.5%

 

http://www.politicalforum.com/index.php?threads/latter-day-saints-the-mormons-my-analysis-so-far.536387/

Edited by DennisTate
add a question and a link.....

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I was away for much of this discussion and have not read all the posts.  I will add my personal thoughts.  Like @ColirioI do not believe we ought to be identified or defined by our problems or weaknesses.  This sister seems to identify herself both by her weaknesses as well as her spiritual connection to G-d as his daughter (by covenant).  Mostly I and confused by what seems to me to be great contradictions.   For example is the contradiction of labels.  I have never met anyone connected to the LGBT community that adores the label "queer".  So this lady's use of the term confuses me enough that I am not really al that sure what she is referring to when she says she is queer.   We assume that it is in reference to various temptations that are contrary to the Law and Covenant of Chasity that is a primary element of temple worship and covenants.  Since she is willingly involved in temple worship - I do not understand the point she is attempting to make - but not just her but the church leaders sponsoring the event at which she spoke - unless the point is about ongoing repentance (which is a change of mind and heart).  But from the presentation I am not certain if she is even attempting to repent or commit herself to a change of heart.  Is this about me or her????

Joseph Smith taught that a repentant person will confess and forsake their sins.

But there is another great principle that needs consideration.  It is the principal of agency.  I believe that associated with agency is responsibility.  One is not expressing agency until they take responsibility for their choices.  It seems to me that many surrender their agency by becoming a victim of their sins.  I also wonder about our use of agency during our mortal probation as something that is limited such that we can repent and shift responsibility of our sins to Christ and his atonement.  But this is another matter for another time and discussion.  Never-the-less we ought to be aware and guard our agency in the hope that we can repent of all our sins and someday be an agent of complete responsibility - not just our acts but even our very hopes and desires.   If we are not moving towards such ends - are we moving towards freedom, liberty and the exercise of agency or are we moving towards becoming a creature in bondage; controlled by things beyond our control?

Joseph Smith also taught that we are to teach correct principles and have others govern themselves.  One of the correct principles is that of love.  As I understand the principle of love - it is a compassion that is generated within us towards others.  Because it is a trait of ourselves - it is not dependent on the choices of others - be such choices based in good or evil.  We love because we are good.  It is a false love that we love others because they are good or in any way dependent on their proclivity towards good rather than evil.  We should express our love of other.  I understand the principle of love but I have great difficulty putting this principle into practice.  I have great difficulty loving people I do not like and I must admit that there are a lot of people I do not like very much. 

I am concerned with lady giving the talk.  I do not think she will find a lot of love and compassion among the LGBTQ community because of her efforts to live the gospel.  I do think the great question for the Saints of G-d is can this lady find love and compassion among them and in their congregations of worship.  Can she find divine love and compassion from you?  As for myself - I am a work in progress that often has difficulty in loving most anybody with divine compassion.   Like her - I have some things that still need work.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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On 5/9/2021 at 6:26 AM, NeuroTypical said:

Ok, here goes:

In general, or when we're trying to preach the gospel?  No.   Do we do it at times?  Yes.  When people are trying to make folks feel welcome, when we are trying to nurture a spark of interest in the church or in the gospel, yes.   I presume prison missionaries spend quite a bit of time taking a 'mealy-mouthed approach' that emphasizes God's love and willingness to forgive, and almost zero time preaching against specific sins.  I know personally of several, and I assume it's a widely-spread phenomenon, for parents of wayward children to take this approach, at times.  

But in general, when teaching and preaching the Gospel of Christ, no, we don't do that.   And if we take a step back from the six-minute portion of one of the videos, of one of the church's conferences, I don't see general trends of avoiding the truth.  You can find it in our Gospel Principles manual, in the repentance chapter:

Not everyone watches a 2021 BYU women's conference YouTube video, but the normal process is every member at some point, goes through the GP classes.

I see standing firm sprinkled through the results of a search of the church's website on the word "homosexuality"

But no, you're right, it's totally absent this 6 minute interaction we're discussing in this thread.

Ok, but again, that wasn't the stated point of the interview.   Again, the stated point was "how should we think and act when we've got one in front of us, trying to make friends".   Again:

For 6 minutes, nobody is condemning same-sex behavior as sin.  

Our response should be to cleanse ourselves of any unwillingness to love our neighbor, or awkwardness in doing so, and our response should be to share the Gospel.   And, if the 2021 BYU women's conference is any standard to go by, it's ok to spend 6 minutes getting to know someone without yelling about what is and isn't sin.

If we took our total response to all things queer, and condensed it into that 6 minutes, then it would make no sense at all.  It might make some sense depending on circumstances laid out in Elder Oaks' talk Judge not and Judging.  Depending on the situation, we are either commanded to keep our mouths shut, or commanded to open it.  

It probably goes over very well in the church's addiction recovery meetings.  Or in discussions between incarcerated people and prison missionaries.  Or anywhere someone is moving from a position of denial, to a position of accepting the truth about themselves.

And again, I take a few guesses here on why it was useful in forwarding the work of the Lord here.  

I think that's all the questions you posed, let me know if I missed any.

Thanks for the honest and insightful answers, NT. Rather than dissect this answer and pick apart the elements that don't seem to hold up, I'm going to accept it in toto as another, possibly insightful, way to view the occurrence. I literally don't know what to think of this. I've voiced some of my displeasure and some of the reasons behind that displeasure. But I have stated some things poorly, and even if I had stated everything perfectly, I might be wrong. I think I am not wrong (obviously, or else I wouldn't hold the opinions I do), but I grant I might be.

Our Church leaders have their work cut out for them. Among those Church leaders I include not just the General Authorities, but the General Officers (or whatever they're called now), including the General Relief Society presidency. If they are giving honest effort and striving to follow the Spirit, I do not want to be found working against their efforts. That would put me on the left hand of Christ. But I refuse to apologize for the fundamental doctrines of salvation, and I get very concerned when those in leadership seem to try to soft-pedal those teachings. So that's my conundrum.

I fear that any further participation in this thread (by  me) would only further contention and drive the Spirit away, without clarifying anything. So thanks for the honest response. I'm bowing out for now.

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Traveler, I was going to duck out of this conversation, but you specifically asked me to comment. So here it goes.

1 hour ago, Traveler said:

Since she is willingly involved in temple worship - I do not understand the point she is attempting to make - but not just her but the church leaders sponsoring the event at which she spoke - unless the point is about ongoing repentance (which is a change of mind and heart).

I assume her point was to demonstrate without actually having to say so that she was worthy to carry a temple recommend, and that therefore we should not question her personal worthiness.

1 hour ago, Traveler said:

But from the presentation I am not certain if she is even attempting to repent or commit herself to a change of heart.  Is this about me or her????

The best I can figure is that she believes she needs no change of heart; witness her statement about being "perfect".

There is a line of thinking that says that merely thinking about or desiring after sin isn't really sin in and of itself. By this philosophy, as long as you don't actually commit the sinful act, you're golden. Many, even in the Church, subscribe to this line of thinking and use it to justify homosexual proclivities. In fact, such people would argue that my previous statement is wrong, and that such proclivities need no justification, any more than green eyes need justification. I do not know that this sister feels this way, but she talks much like people who do.

That this appears to go against the Savior's teaching that a man who looks on a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart is of no moment to such people. The reliable watchword is, "It's different." No comparisons are allowed or even considered possible, unless those comparisons support the thesis statement.

I hope that my sinful thoughts and lusts will eventually be removed from me, either by my own efforts or (more likely) by divine intervention. But God help me if I ever decide that my carnal nature is justified as long as I don't actually act on that nature:

"Then [at the resurrection] if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned. For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence."

1 hour ago, Traveler said:

Joseph Smith also taught that we are to teach correct principles and have others govern themselves.  One of the correct principles is that of love.  As I understand the principle of love - it is a compassion that is generated within us towards others.  Because it is a trait of ourselves - it is not dependent on the choices of others - be such choices based in good or evil.  We love because we are good.  It is a false love that we love others because they are good or in any way dependent on their proclivity towards good rather than evil.  We should express our love of other.  I understand the principle of love but I have great difficulty putting this principle into practice.  I have great difficulty loving people I do not like and I must admit that there are a lot of people I do not like very much.

I have a very great deal to learn about love, both in theory and in practice. In ancient threads of long-ago days on this very forum, I argued with people over the idea of God's love. To them, it was so very important to maintain that God loved literally everyone, and did so unconditionally, that they could not (or at least would not) consider that Elder (now President) Nelson himself taught in General Conference that God's love could not correctly be characterized as unconditional. I pointed out that God's love for his people is manifested in his people's salvation, and that therefore if there were beings who would not be saved (such as Satan), it would be reasonable to say that God did not "love" them—at least, not in the same sense he "loves" those who come unto him. This they would not accept, yet they couldn't provide any justification for their rejection other than that they didn't like the idea.

I think tolerance is a first step toward love. I think tolerance is a true principle, one that all Saints should and must eventually possess. But I also think that the idea of "tolerance" has been bastardized to such an extent that it no longer represents a pure virtue. Too often, today's "tolerance" is just a window-dressing word meaning, "Don't ever say or think anything bad about people's sinful actions."

1 hour ago, Traveler said:

I am concerned with lady giving the talk.  I do not think she will find a lot of love and compassion among the LGBTQ community because of her efforts to live the gospel.  I do think the great question for the Saints of G-d is can this lady find love and compassion among them and in their congregations of worship.  Can she find divine love and compassion from you?

Yes. Despite my irritation at the entire situation, she is a sister and of infinite worth. I will seek to support any and all of my brothers and sisters who are trying to repent, as I myself hope to be supported in turn by them. But condoning sinful behavior or even thought is not support; it is destruction.

There are my thoughts.

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24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

(Matt 13: 24-30) Emphasis Added

I only read the first two pages of this thread and came out shocked no one shared this connection.  I sincerely believe the brethren have been instructed, as the Lord's servants, that the time has come to let the wheat and tares grow together as we navigate the "winding up scene" during the "latter part of these latter days".

When wheat and tares grow together, some of the wheat may be starved by the tares, and some of the wheat will be spared by not gathering the tares.  In the end, all the tares will be burned and only the wheat will remain.

So long as we maintain our number one priority to live in accordance with the commandments of God, and the principles of the Restored Gospel, we will be prepared.

Edited by person0

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17 hours ago, Vort said:

Traveler, I was going to duck out of this conversation, but you specifically asked me to comment. So here it goes.

I assume her point was to demonstrate without actually having to say so that she was worthy to carry a temple recommend, and that therefore we should not question her personal worthiness.

The best I can figure is that she believes she needs no change of heart; witness her statement about being "perfect".

There is a line of thinking that says that merely thinking about or desiring after sin isn't really sin in and of itself. By this philosophy, as long as you don't actually commit the sinful act, you're golden. Many, even in the Church, subscribe to this line of thinking and use it to justify homosexual proclivities. In fact, such people would argue that my previous statement is wrong, and that such proclivities need no justification, any more than green eyes need justification. I do not know that this sister feels this way, but she talks much like people who do.

That this appears to go against the Savior's teaching that a man who looks on a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart is of no moment to such people. The reliable watchword is, "It's different." No comparisons are allowed or even considered possible, unless those comparisons support the thesis statement.

I hope that my sinful thoughts and lusts will eventually be removed from me, either by my own efforts or (more likely) by divine intervention. But God help me if I ever decide that my carnal nature is justified as long as I don't actually act on that nature:

"Then [at the resurrection] if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned. For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence."

I have a very great deal to learn about love, both in theory and in practice. In ancient threads of long-ago days on this very forum, I argued with people over the idea of God's love. To them, it was so very important to maintain that God loved literally everyone, and did so unconditionally, that they could not (or at least would not) consider that Elder (now President) Nelson himself taught in General Conference that God's love could not correctly be characterized as unconditional. I pointed out that God's love for his people is manifested in his people's salvation, and that therefore if there were beings who would not be saved (such as Satan), it would be reasonable to say that God did not "love" them—at least, not in the same sense he "loves" those who come unto him. This they would not accept, yet they couldn't provide any justification for their rejection other than that they didn't like the idea.

I think tolerance is a first step toward love. I think tolerance is a true principle, one that all Saints should and must eventually possess. But I also think that the idea of "tolerance" has been bastardized to such an extent that it no longer represents a pure virtue. Too often, today's "tolerance" is just a window-dressing word meaning, "Don't ever say or think anything bad about people's sinful actions."

Yes. Despite my irritation at the entire situation, she is a sister and of infinite worth. I will seek to support any and all of my brothers and sisters who are trying to repent, as I myself hope to be supported in turn by them. But condoning sinful behavior or even thought is not support; it is destruction.

There are my thoughts.

Thank you so much.  

Obviously, I have problems with love and compassion that I am trying to understand.  Though there is satisfaction to the giver of love with the touchy - feely kind of love and it does have its place - I ma not sure it is a great insight into divine love.  Jesus said that the greatest kind of love is a willingness to sacrifice (even one's life) for another.  I assume that kind of love is not conditionally based.  But with this thinking, I wonder, why sacrifice for another if there is no sustainable benefit?  In other words - if the sacrifice is rejected and not utilized; is such really an act of love?

This bring us to one more point - being the point of agency.  The terrible  truth of agency is that it is the power given to someone to destroy themselves.  I do not like people that destroy themselves because it has a bad effect on everybody.  It is, as best as I can determine, the problem with Lucifer becoming Satan.  It appears that you wrestle with this as well - How can we possibly love Satan?  And yet it is the agency of all G-d's children that was the most protected gift of G-d to his children.  It is also the engine of a never ending war began in the heavenly state of our pre-existence.  Though there may have been other factors - it seems that agency was the one factor that could not be resolved.  Perhaps your thoughts on tolerance is the key.  In my mind - tolerance is very different from acceptance and is diffidently not approval.   I do not know how to express tolerance without somehow making sure that I am not expressing any level of approval.

Thank you for the above post - it appears that you understand this conflict of tolerance verses approval and acceptance.  I agree that we should not confuse that G-d loves us as a notion that we are approved of him.  I grew up in a household that loved me greatly but I never was given approval.  I was always told to work harder and be better.  I was never told, "Good job, we are proud of what you have done!"  Actually that is not completely true.  The last words my father spoke to me was that he loved me and was proud of me.  It was the only time I ever heard those words from him - I was not sure at the time if he was fully aware he was addressing me or if he was fully cognizant.  And yet I never doubted that I was loved - I also never heard him say that of any of his children and I had two nearly perfect older brothers.

Perhaps I can express my feeling for the lady in question with a relationship I have with one of the contractors I often work with.  He is a cement contractor, works very hard and does the best cement work.  But he has a bad smoking habit.  I have asked him not to smoke when he is around me (something that needs to be reminded often).  He has tole me of his desire to quit.  I have told him that I will encourage him to quit because I care about him and that I will do all in my power to constantly encourage him.  I have also told him that when he dies early because of his smoking - that I will come to his funeral and morn the loss of him in life.  I think we are good friends.  Whenever I see him smoking I will walk towards him and without a word he will get rid of his cigarette, smile and thank me.  BTW - he suffers from COPD - hopefully COVID-19 did not take him.

I believe we all have a choice and that choice is our greatest freedom.  I also believe that we must all choose between good and evil.  Which is a choice to act or to be acted upon.  The choice to act is both spiritual and freedom the choice to be controlled by carnal desire is to give in to the physical and remain in bondage.

 

The Traveler

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1 minute ago, NeuroTypical said:

Well someone sure has to work close at Subway.

Heh I was just going to ask... What kind of Career can you get with that minor?

 

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On 5/21/2021 at 4:52 PM, estradling75 said:

Heh I was just going to ask... What kind of Career can you get with that minor?

 

AS it is a minor, I suppose it depends on the major that the individual works on.

If they go on to Legal studies, there is probably a small but significant portion of legal work they can be involved in where such a minor may be a boon.

If they go into sociology or Psychology there are also small, but significant communities where such a minor may be useful in their impact in relating and helping others.

As a minor it is probably not the worst choice among others in how it is applicable, dependent of course, on what one's major is.

That holds true for most minors though.

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